May 12, 2010
HENAN — On the morning of April 25, 2010, seven or eight police officers raided the Sunday gathering of Christians of Chimei Town House Church in Neixiang county, Nanyang, Henan province. They photographed, fingerprinted, and registered all the believers there, then took away nine people, without any written authorization Later, seven of the members were respectively placed on 5-day, 10-day and 15-day administrative detentions. Their families have not received Notices of Detention, nor have the police given receipts for the “living expense” payments they demanded and received from the families.
That morning, 20 to 30 Christians were holding Sunday worship at the residence of Sun Bingwu in Jiadao Village, Chimei Town. At about 10:30 AM, as the service was coming to an end, seven or eight people came in and claimed they were police officers from Neixiang County Public Security Bureau and Chimei Police Station. They were not in police uniform, but they showed their identifications and put a halt to the meeting.
After they took photos of the site of the gathering and recorded the information of the Christians there, they took nine people to the Chimei Town Police Station. These people included one man (Chen Fengming, the church’s speaking pastor) seven women (Qin Gaiying, Bie Xiumin, Zhang Xiugai, Chai Aiqin, He Xiaocai, Liu Xiue, and Wang Yunge) and Bie Xiumin’s 4-year-old son.
That afternoon, the police brought Bie Xiumin’s mother-in-law to the police station to take her 4-year-old grandson home. He cried when they were leaving. Mercifully the police released his mother so she could go home with him.
Bie Xiumin and her little son were the only ones allowed to go free without a greater cost than trauma and being illegally seized.
At 6 p.m. on April 25, the police station sent the seven remaining detainees to Neixiang County Detention Center. Because Chen Fengming and Qin Gaiying had been detained before, the police said they would now be sentenced to Re-Education through Labor, a severe punishment. Meanwhile they were sentenced to 15 days at the detention center. Four of the other Christians were sentenced to 10 days of detention, and one to 5 days. Again, the police did not provide any certificates of detention.
Over the following days, the prisoners’ families were charged arbitrary amounts for the release of their family members, the amount varying with each detainee.
On the morning of April 26, the family of He Xiaocai went to visit her at the detention center. The police officer wanted 130 yuan from them in exchange for the release of He Xiaocai. Later, when Zhang Tingxiu and other people went to visit the detainees on behalf of their families, they were told to give 960 yuan. This group of people pooled 500 yuan together and gave it to the detention center. On the morning of April 28, Zhang Xiugai’s family went to visit her at the detention center. The detention center authorities said they could release her for 1,350 yuan. The family paid 1,350 yuan, and Zhang Xiugai was released. On May 4 when the families visited the detainees, the detention center again wanted 270 yuan from them. The family paid 300 yuan. On May 5, Chai Aiqin, He Xiaocai, Liu Xiue, and Wang Yunge were released, having served the 10-day detention in full.
None of these transactions were documented, and no receipts were given to the families. As of May 7, Chen Fengming and Qin Gaiying continue to be detained.
ChinaAid urges the Chinese government to stop illegally arresting its citizens and detaining them without due process of law. We encourage the Christians of Chimei Town House Church to persevere in the faith under persecution. Also we ask Christians worldwide to pray for the religious and civil liberties of fellow believers in China, and especially for the release of Chen Fengming and Qin Gaiying.
4-year old Boy Seized in Raid on House Church in Henan, 7 Members Detained